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The State of Mindfulness Science: 10 Key Research Findings to Encourage and Guide your Meditation Practice in 2018

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Dur­ing the past two decades, more and more sci­en­tists have stud­ied mindfulness—a Bud­dhist-inspired col­lec­tion of prac­tices aimed at help­ing us to cul­ti­vate moment-to-moment aware­ness of our­selves and our envi­ron­ment. Their ear­ly find­ings trig­gered an enor­mous amount of enthu­si­asm for med­i­ta­tion.

Some­times, how­ev­er, jour­nal­ists and even sci­en­tists (who should know bet­ter) have over­stat­ed the phys­i­cal and men­tal health ben­e­fits, which has fed grow­ing skep­ti­cism about mind­ful­ness. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Mindfulness can modify stress-related brain behavior

Stress Marine study exam­ines stress, brain behav­ior (Lemoore Navy News):

A recent study led by Naval Health Research Cen­ter shows that brain behav­ior, or mech­a­nisms relat­ed to stress, can be mod­i­fied in Marines pri­or to deploy­ment Read the rest of this entry »

Maximizing brain fitness and mental well-being improves both public health and individual quality of life

 We’re hav­ing a good con­ver­sa­tion among Sharp­Brains Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants, prompt­ed by the blog post Life­long brain well­ness and performance–not med­ical disease–drives grow­ing demand for dig­i­tal brain health solu­tions. In what is a beau­ti­ful exam­ple of the need to see both the for­est and the trees Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding, and Nurturing, Resilience and Adaptability

Over and over again—in nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, after the SARS epi­dem­ic, fol­low­ing the loss of a child or spouse—Bonanno’s lon­gi­tu­di­nal stud­ies on loss and trau­ma revealed the exact same pat­tern at the pop­u­la­tion lev­el. No mat­ter how bad the trau­ma, rates of PTSD nev­er exceed­ed one-third, and rates of resilience were always found in at least one-third and nev­er more than two-thirds of the pop­u­la­tion.

This pat­tern of response is so ubiq­ui­tous, and so con­sis­tent, it begs the ques­tion: Why are we, as a species, designed this way?” asks Bonan­no.

One pos­si­ble answer is that the design ensures that there is always at least a siz­able minor­i­ty, or even a major­i­ty, to take care of those deeply affect­ed by a trau­ma. Read the rest of this entry »

The Emotional Life of Your Brain: One Brain Does Not Fit All

If you believe most self-help books, pop-psy­chol­o­gy arti­cles, and tele­vi­sion ther­a­pists, then you prob­a­bly assume that how peo­ple respond to sig­nif­i­cant life events is pret­ty pre­dictable.  Most of us, accord­ing to the “experts,” are affect­ed in just about the same way by a giv­en experience—there is a griev­ing process that every­one goes through, there is a sequence of events that hap­pens when we fall in love, there is a stan­dard response to being jilt­ed, and there are fair­ly stan­dard ways almost every nor­mal per­son reacts to the birth of a child, to being unap­pre­ci­at­ed at one’s job, to hav­ing an unbear­able work­load, to the chal­lenges of rais­ing teenagers, and to the inevitable changes that occur with aging.

Read the rest of this entry »

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